Funding: The Environmental Co-operation Action Fund

Got a bit of land? Working with the neighbours? Need a facilitator?


The Environmental Co-operation Action Fund (ECAF) has been launched in order to promote the delivery of landscape-scale environmental projects by groups of farmers, foresters and other land managers in Scotland, with the aim of protecting and enhancing the country’s natural environment. It has been found that some environmental objectives are most effective at a scale greater than individual holdings – for example, throughout an entire water catchment or deer range. This often requires co-ordinated activity by groups of land managers. The ECAF supports the costs of planning and facilitating these co-operative projects, in order to deliver the following environmental priorities throughout Scotland:

* Habitat and degraded ecosystem restoration.

* Conservation of vulnerable priority species.

* Control of invasive non-native plant species.

* Deer management.

* Catchment management for water quality.

* Physical restoration of water bodies.

* Natural flood management.

* Woodland creation.

The key aims of the ECAF are to:

* Help deliver the 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity.

* Contribute to Scotland’s world-leading climate change targets.

* Meet obligations to improve water quality and the physical restoration of rivers under the EU Water Framework Directive.

* Control flooding through natural flood management.

A total of £10 million will be available between 2015 and 2020 to fund co-operative projects that help to deliver the Fund’s priorities. Applications will only be accepted from:

* an individual or appointed facilitator who has identified the need for a landscape-scale environmental project and intends to develop and deliver collaborative action with relevant land holdings and key stakeholders; or

* an organisation that wishes to appoint a facilitator. If applying through the second route, applicants must be one of the following:

* a public sector organisation;

* a private sector organisation;

* a constituted not-for-profit organisation; or

* a constituted group. Public bodies are eligible to apply. The aim of the programme is to fund individuals to carry out the planning and facilitation of co-operative activities with the purpose of encouraging environmental outcomes at a landscape scale. The following activities are a guide to those that are expected to be funded, however projects are not limited to these:

* Raising awareness with the public and stakeholders.

* Identifying potential land-manager participants.

* Securing participation.

* Evidence gathering.

* Producing a strategic management plan.

* Producing individual holding-scale plans.

* Consulting agencies and/or applying for consents needed.

* Overseeing project delivery, including reporting and aspects of monitoring.

The deadline for applications is 15 January 2016.